MonthApril 2015

150th Birthday of the Wagner Free Institute of Science’s historic building

Wagner Free Inst Building 150th talk image 237-PR-026

PHILADELPHIA 1865: A CITY ON THE EDGE
Delivered by Bruce Laverty, Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 20th, 2015, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
1700 W Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia

Join us for a lecture, cake competition, and member reception in honor of the 150th Birthday of the Wagner Free Institute of Science’s historic building.

Lecture:
In 1865 Philadelphia was a city on the edge; a city on the edge of grief; a city on the edge of growth; and a city on the edge of genius. That year saw Philadelphia’s joy of Northern victory dashed by the overwhelming shock and grief brought on by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Less acute, but even more sobering, was the growing realization in 1865 that Union victory and the abolition of slavery were by no means the end of race problems in the City of Brotherly Love. In 1865 Philadelphia commenced the most rapid physical growth in its history; by century’s end the built portion of the city had more than doubled in size. Finally, 1865 was the year when the genius of local entrepreneurs, both individually and collectively, through the efforts of scientific, benevolent, and educational associations, achieved the critical mass that launched Philadelphia into modernity.

Bruce Laverty, a life-long resident of Philadelphia and graduate of LaSalle College, has been Curator of Architecture at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia since 1983. He prepared that institution’s first catalog of architectural drawings. During his tenure at the Athenaeum, the architectural collection grew from 30,000 to more than 220,000 drawings and he oversaw the creation of nearly 8,000 Visual Materials records documenting them. He has served as curator for more than a dozen exhibitions at the Athenaeum and in 1998 he received the Preservation Achievement Award for his work as curator, editor and co-author of “Monument to Philanthropy: The Design and Building of Girard College, 1832-1848.”

Cake Competition:
For this event we will also be running a cake competition that gives entrants the opportunity to represent the Wagner in cake. Entries are being accepted until May 1st, 2015. All information about the competition, including deadlines and baking parameters, can be found on the Wagner’s website.

Reception:
Following the talk, at 7:30 pm, Wagner members are invited to join us for the Annual Member Reception. Members are welcome to bring one guest to the reception. Non-members and extra guests are asked to pay $10 to attend the event.

For more, visit the event page on the Wagner’s website.
http://www.wagnerfreeinstitute.org/syllabi%202014-15/Philadelphia1865.htm

Registration is encouraged but not required and can be done through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/philadelphia-1865-a-city-on-the-edge-lecture-and-member-reception-tickets-9445428531

Feats of Clay: Philadelphia Brick & Terra Cotta

Feats of Clay
Opening reception & remarks: Wednesday, April 29 | 5:30 pm
Exhibition on view April 29 – August 29, 2015
Harvey and Irwin Kroiz Gallery
The Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania
220 South 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Learn more: https://www.design.upenn.edu/historic-preservation/events/feats-clay-philadelphia-brick-and-terra-cotta

Given this unique context, this exhibition will trace the rise of the brick and terra cotta industry in Philadelphia and its far reaching influences on American architecture and building technology. The exhibition also seeks to raise the awareness and appreciation of the region’s wealth of historic brick and terra cotta architecture and long craft tradition, as well as their relevance to contemporary sustainable design.

This exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of the International Masonry Institute, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 PA/DE, the Association for Preservation Technology – Delaware Valley Chapter, the Georgia Hencken Perkins Endowment, and the Friends of the Architectural Archives.

Vinyl, Plexiglas & Neon: Venturi, Scott Brown’s Transformation of St. Francis de Sales – a revealing history & conversation

2015-05-07 St Francis 03 bw

Thursday, May 7, 2015 @ 6:00 p.m.
Auditorium of St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church
4625 Springfield Ave., University City, Philadelphia
Free and open to the public.  No registration required.

In 1969, the Church of St. Francis de Sales – a landmark church in the Byzantine Revival style (Henry Dagit; 1907-08) – reopened after alterations that addressed changes to the Catholic Mass. Comprising elements built of vinyl, Plexiglas, and neon, the design by Robert Venturi & Denise Scott Brown was radical, controversial, and removed within a year by the parish. Now, after over 45 years, join us for a revealing conversation and tour about the project’s conception, execution, and the firestorm that ensued.

Landscape architect, Sue Weiler, will provide an introductory tour of the architecture of St. Francis de Sales, including its magnificent Guastavino dome; William Whitaker, curator of the Venturi, Scott Brown Collection at Penn’s Architectural Archives, will talk about the VSB design and the architecture of the period; and Father John McNamee, parish priest at the time of the change, will recall his role as pastor and client during a time of social change.

SAVE THE DATE FOR PHILA SAH SPRING PROGRAMS

The next Phila Chapter SAH program will be on the evening of Thursday, May 7.  A tour of the Church of Saint Francis de Sales at 46th & Springfield Avenue with a discussion of the controversial “neon halo” and other renovations designed by Venturi Scott Brown.  Chapter President Bill Whitaker is putting the finishing touches on the details which will be sent to Chapter members as soon as possible.

Also mark Thursday, June 11, on your calendar for a program at an amazing Victorian house, Oakbourne, in Westtown Twp, Chester County.  We’ll have a reception followed by a talk on the home’s architect T. Roney Williamson.  Details and registration information will be sent to Chapter members in early May.

Amazing Mid Century Modern Home For Sale

2015-04-08 Irv Stein 1958 Wallingford PA home

This wonderful 1958 mid century modern home, designed by architect and Philadelphia SAH member Irwin Stein, is for sale by the current owners who are looking for a buyer who will treasure it as much as they do. They are hosting an Open House on Sunday, April 12 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at 2 South Providence Road, Wallingford, PA.

Almost all of the original details are intact.  The 2600 square foot house has 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths and one half bath.  The attached 600 square foot office has four rooms and a powder room.  It can easily be converted to an apartment.

The home is situated on .75 acres of land, has two patios and in another week the yard will be filled with over 1,000 daffodils.  The interior boasts soaring ceilings, redwood paneling, tile and hardwood floors, ample natural light, two wood burning fireplaces, cove lighting and a gorgeous open staircase.  The home has been featured on the cover of Atomic Ranch Magazine, on houzz.com and apartmenttherapy.com and was voted one of Philly’s “Amazing Spaces” in Philadelphia Magazine.

For more info visit http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2-S-Providence-Rd-Wallingford-PA-19086/92240976_zpid/